Media release: Scotland’s dance sector to be represented at Europe’s largest dance trade event

POP-UP Duets (fragments of love) 19 Photo by Roy Campbell-Moore

SCOTTISH dance artists and companies look to take advantage of potential new international markets for the dance sector at Tanzmesse (internationale tanzmesse nrw), considered Europe’s largest trade event for dance (29 August – 01 September 2018), in Düsseldorf, Germany.

The biennial, four-day event includes a stand promoting Scotland’s thriving dance scene at the bustling trade fair with a series of debates and open studio sessions which provide artists and choreographers the opportunity to share their new emerging creations with fellow dance professionals from around the world.

The 2018 programme features presentations from Scottish choreographers, Janis Claxton Dance, presenting the award-winning POP-UP Duets (fragments of love), Rob Heaslip, presenting A Glimpse of Flesh and Blood | Endling, and Shaper/Caper presenting their critically-acclaimed piece, Within This Dust.

Ten bursaries to attend have been awarded to a delegation of Scottish choreographers, performers and producers including Ian Johnston and Gary Gardiner (21Common), Daisy Douglas (independent producer), Davina Givan (White and Givan), Emma Jayne Park (Cultured Mongrel), Jade Adamson (independent producer), Jill Smith (Feral), LJ Findlay-Walsh (Tramway/ Take Me Somewhere), Rhea Lewis (Project X) and Tony Mills (Room 2 Manoeuvre). They will be joined by representatives from Dance Base, Dance North and Citymoves along with Creative Scotland and The Work Room.

Scotland’s representation at the festival is co-ordinated by The Work Room with funding and support from Creative Scotland.

Paul Burns, acting head of Dance, Creative Scotland, who will be joining the delegation, said:

“We are proud to once again be supporting a diverse range of artists and producers to attend and showcase at Tanzmesse 2018, the largest dance marketplace in Europe. Scotland has an international reputation as a country where dance is an intrinsic part of the national identity, and there is a huge range of dance happening here, from ceilidhs and country dancing, to cutting edge contemporary dance work. Dance moves people in every sense – connecting with performers, participants and audiences alike – physically, intellectually and emotionally. Attending an event like Tanzmesse gives us the opportunity to introduce some of the incredible work being made in Scotland to people across the world.”

On attending Tanzmesse 2018, Rob Heaslip said: “I’m delighted to present Endling as part of the Tanzmesse Open Studio Programme. This work is the first in a trilogy exploring Gaelic cultures’ relationship to rituals around birth, life and death amongst its communities in Scotland and Ireland. I look forward to contributing to a positive artistic image of Scotland at Tanzmesse 2018; and see our work celebrated amongst our European contemporaries.”

Artistic director, Thomas Small, Shaper/Caper, said: “Shaper/Caper is delighted to be supported by The Work Room and Creative Scotland to attend Tanzmesse 2018 as ambassadors of contemporary dance in Scotland. As first-time attendees, we are aware of the timely opportunity that exposure to international programmers, various cultural agencies and the latest debates can have to enhance our future work and the Scottish dance scene as a whole. We are looking forward to forging new partnerships and future collaborations that can inform our work and facilitate fruitful exchanges with the Scottish dance sector.”

On attending as part of the Scottish delegation Emma Jayne Park, of Cultured Mongrel, said: “Without this kind of support it would not be possible for an independent artist like myself to attend Tanzmesse when now, in light of Brexit, it feels more important than ever to foster international collaborations which I believe are the route to ensuring my practice is challenged and continues to grow.”

While Room 2 Manoeuvre’s Tony Mills, commented: “Tanzmesse has proven to be invaluable event on our company diary.  We are currently building links with an organisation in Macau, China that was brought about as a result of attending Tanzmesse in 2016. This year we will be able to meet face to face to discuss wider plans, build on existing networks, make new connections and be inspired by the diverse dance programming on show.”


Media contact:

Creative Scotland: Sophie Bambrough, media relations and PR officer

T: 0131 523 0015

Editor’s notes

About the chorographers:

Janis Claxton Dance is a multi-award winning contemporary dance company creating works for touring in theatre venues and site-specific performances for unique spaces. The company’s latest work POP-UP Duets (fragments of love), a series of 5-minute duets designed for public spaces, has been performed at festivals in Singapore, the USA, Sweden and Taiwan including at Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival 2018. Find out more: / Twitter: @JanisClaxton / Facebook:

Rob Heaslip is a graduate of The Scottish School of Contemporary Dance and former member of The National Folk Theatre of Ireland whose works tells stories about people, how they think, move and act amongst each other. Key works and collaborations include FREAGRA | A Blurred Expanse, You and Me, and You, MEITHEAL and Wunderbar. Heaslip is currently creating A Glimpse of Flesh and Blood, a trilogy exploring Gaelic cultures’ relationship to rituals around birth, life and death amongst its communities in Scotland and Ireland. Find out more: / Twitter: @robheaslipdance / Facebook:

Shaper/Caper present the work of multi-award-winning choreographer, Thomas Small. Thomas is the first ever BBC Radio 2 Artist in Residence in association with The Space. Shaper/Caper’s critically-acclaimed Within This Dust is inspired by the iconic series of photographs by Richard Drew that capture a man falling from the World Trade Center during the 9/11 attacks. As well as being selected for the Made in Scotland and international tanzmesse 2018, the work has toured in the USA, Brazil and Germany. Find out more: /Twitter: @shapercaper / Facebook:

About the Scottish Delegation 

Ian Johnston and Gary Gardiner will be representing 21Common. Past work includes 2014 Unlimited Commission Dancer, part of the 2017 Made in Scotland Showcase; 43 and Percent a Tramway co-production, part of the Unlimited Festival; and recent work The Ballad of the Apathetic Son and his Narcissistic Mother, part of the 2018 Made in Scotland Showcase. Find out more: / Twitter: @21Common / Facebook:

Bush Hartshorn is Head of Artist Development at Dance Base. Hartshorn leads the Associate Artist programme, launched in 2017 to provide a support platform for five selected professional dance artists. Hartshorn will be representing the work of the five associated artists: Claricia Kruithof, Farah Saleh, Luke Pell, Martyn Garside and Robbie Synge. Find out more: / Twitter: @Dancebase / Facebook:

Daisy Douglas is a multidisciplinary arts producer based in Glasgow who is currently collaborating with performance artist Aby Watson. Watson and Douglas will be representing current work exploring dyspraxia and choreography. The work will be produced by Douglas and will have its first presentation at Unlimited Festival at Southbank Centre in September and Tramway in Glasgow in October. Find out more: / / Twitter: @daiseman

Errol White and Davina Givan (White and Givan) have spent over a quarter of a century together, creating performances of the highest quality and artistry. White and Givan endeavour to make work that engages audiences on a physical and emotional level, allowing subtleties and performativity within the work to take audience on a journey without the necessity of a more conventional narrative. Find out more: / Twitter: @whiteandgivan

Cultured Mongrel is the creative handle for the artistic practice of dancer, theatre maker, collaborator and arts activist Emma Jayne Park. Park brings together unique combinations of skilled artists on a project basis to create uncompromising performances that draw attention to the critical issues facing society today. Park is currently touring It’s Not Over Yet…, directed by Charlotte Vincent and commissioned by The BENCH, a solo performance reflecting upon her experience of having had cancer. Find out more: / Twitter:  @culturedmongrel / Facebook:

Jade Adamson is a freelance producer and dance practitioner whose practice expands across performing, teaching, choreographing and producing. Jade is a founding member of Glasgow-based contemporary dance company Barrowland Ballet, and in 2017 she undertook a Federation of Scottish Theatre supported producer placement with Tramway and The Work Room, working on Dance International Glasgow and led on the festival’s engagement and artist development programme. Find out more: / Twitter: @jadeadamson1

Jill Smith is part of Feral, who support artists making cross art form work and champion makers who explore new performance languages through their practice. Along with Katheryn Boyle, under the Feral banner, they produce a portfolio of movement-based work with artists including Liz Aggiss, Colette Sadler, Mele Broomes, Al Seed, Saffy Setohy and Oceanallover. Find out more: / Facebook: / Twitter: @FERAL_Arts

Dance North (previously Bodysurf Scotland) is at the vanguard of contemporary dance. Dance North offer a vibrant programme of live dance performances (including Rise Festival), professional training, commissioning, residencies, community dance classes and outreach activities. They are a rurally-based organisation with a significant national presence and increasing international profile. They are attending Tanzmesse in search of new partnerships for a selection of projects in 2018-21. Find out more:

Karl Jay-Lewin is a choreographer and performer, whose work is rooted in the postmodern, experimental dance scene. Based in North East Scotland, his long-term collaboration with composer and performer Matteo Fargion has greatly influenced his work – current pieces including Extremely Bad Dancing to Extremely French Music͟ and Extremely Pedestrian Chorales͟ (premiering September 2018). Find out more: twitter@KarlJayLewin

LJ Findlay-Walsh is associate programmer of Tramway, Glasgow working on year-round activity that includes DIG (Dance International Glasgow). Separate to this she is artistic director of Take Me Somewhere Festival, a city-wide contemporary performance festival in Glasgow. Previous roles include senior producer at the Arches Glasgow and executive producer of Mischief La-Bas outdoor theatre company. Find out more: /

Rhea Lewis is a creative producer who collaborates with national as well as international artists and with communities to create ambitious, large-scale, socially-engaged cross art form projects. Rhea is passionate about making work which explores marginalised stories and narratives.  Rhea has worked with diverse organisations and festivals including The Work Room, Tramway, Barrowland Ballet, Africa in Motion Film Festival and Untitled Projects. Rhea is co-founder and creative producer of Project X, an artist’s collective which champions dance and performance within the African and Caribbean diasporas in Scotland.   Find out more: / / Twitter @Project_X_Dance

Tony Mills is a founder member of Random Aspekts B-Boy crew and hails from the Orkney Islands.  Mills has performed with Freshmess Dance Company, State of Emergency, Off Kilter, Iron Oxide, Curious Seed, David Hughes Dance Productions, All or Nothing, Derevo, and the international street-dance show, Blaze. Tony founded, Room 2 Manoeuvre in 2007. Now resident company at The Brunton, R2M blends hip hop, contemporary dance and physical theatre, creating visceral choreography to tell stories. Find out more: / / Twitter @Room2Manoevre

Citymoves Dance Agency SCIO exists to develop and support quality dance provision at every level and ability, from local to national, nurturing connections across cultures and borders. Kathryn Spence is dance manager (education) at Citymoves. Kathryn works to offer new ways of engagement for participants in dance and to offer new opportunities for professional and community dance artists alike. Kathryn currently manages the CashBack for Creativity programme, is in-house SQA Course leader, and alongside the team is co-curating Dance Live 2018 and the ongoing studio workshops and classes. Kathryn also works freelance as a dance artist, performer, choreographer and teacher. / / Twitter @Citymovesdance

About International Tanzmesse nrw 2018
The International Tanzmesse now hosts the largest professional gathering dedicated exclusively to contemporary dance. The International Tanzmesse nrw 2018 will take place in Dusseldorf, Germany from 29 August – 1 September. Find out more:

About The Work Room
The Work Room is an artist-led, membership organisation committed to supporting independent artists working in dance in Scotland. Find out more:

About Creative Scotland
Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. They enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. Find out more:

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Creative Scotland contact details…

Contact: Sophie Bambrough
Phone: 0131 523 0015